Travelers who really want to immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture, especially in the Southwest region, should visit the floating markets in Vietnam at least once in their lives. Join Vietnam Adventure to explore these one-of-a-kind markets right now!

How Was Floating Markets in Vietnam Born?

The Southwest region of Vietnam is part of the Mekong Delta characterized by numerous rivers and canals. So over millennia, local inhabitants have adeptly adjusted to this environment, then giving rise to a couple of floating markets. That way, Originally a means of making a living for locals, these markets have evolved into captivating symbols of Mekong Delta culture.

Floating markets are one of the familiar cultures of people in the Southwest region
Floating markets are one of the familiar cultures of people in the Southwest region

Another factor is the abundant supply of Vietnamese fruits and other products in the Southwest region, which has boosted trade demand. In fact, most floating markets are situated near the expansive fruit orchards of the Mekong Delta, thereby facilitating commerce for locals.

Why Are Floating Markets Vietnam Special?

Unlike other traditional markets, floating markets operate on a dense network of rivers. So you must travel by boat on a dense network of rivers. 

What’s more, these floating markets are often located at river junctions. As a result, many vendors from various provinces come to these markets with their regional specialties.

Most products in the Southwest are fruits, and this region is also the primary fruit supplier for Ho Chi Minh City and the entire country. Consequently, Vietnam’s floating markets are the best places to purchase the freshest fruits at affordable prices.

The Southwest people are very elegant and friendly. Though most are not fluent in English, they will give you the warmest welcome. It could just be a local greeting, a handshake or the most sincere help possible.

Top 4 Well-Known Floating Markets in Vietnam

Here are top 4 must-see floating markets Vietnam, where you can experience vibrant trade traditions amidst stunning aquatic landscapes:

Cai Rang – The most famous floating market in the Southwest region of Vietnam

Cai Rang market starts at 5am and bustles until 6am, drawing up to 700 visitors daily. This is one of the biggest floating markets in the Mekong Delta, and also the most famous one.

The market features over 350 boats selling various fruits and vegetables. There are some of the most delicious fruits you will ever see such as Nam Roi grapefruit, Vinh Long pink kiwi kumquat, and Cai Mon durian. 

Cai Rang Floating Market
Cai Rang Floating Market

Breakfast is also available on chair-equipped boats, creating some unique dining spots. A typical breakfast in this area primarily includes noodles and soups. Still, if you take a walk and explore further, you’ll find a variety of traditional local snacks like corn cakes, coconut leaf cakes, and banana cakes.

Cai Be – Simple but unique floating market

Cai Be floating market is a hub for transporting produce, fruit and seafood between the Mekong Delta and the rest of the country. The market is also a popular tourist destination among international tourists because of its close location to Ho Chi Minh City.

Cai Be floating market is one of the most attractive places
Cai Be floating market is one of the most attractive places

Unlike Cai Rang market and most other floating markets, which open early and close early, Cai Be stays open late to cater to those who aren’t early birds like many Vietnamese. So you can visit here at any time to enjoy the vibrant and lively atmosphere of a Southern-style market. If you are a photographer, this place can also be a source of inspiration for countless artistic photos.

Long Xuyen floating market – Unique beauty on the banks of Hau River

This floating market is among the lesser-known floating markets in Vietnam. Hence, if you seek a tranquil market experience, Long Xuyen will not disappoint. Here, you can discover popular local goods like pickles, squash, sweet potatoes, fresh fruits, and some traditional treats like pig skin pieces, fish rice noodles, and more.

Long Xuyen Floating Market
Long Xuyen Floating Market

Nga Bay floating market (Phung Hiep – Hau Giang)

Nga Bay Floating Market was born in 1915 with a rich history, this floating market still carries the traditional values ​​of Southwestern culture. This is quite popular with tourists who want to explore the rich culture of the Mekong Delta.

Nga Bay Floating Market
Nga Bay Floating Market

The market buzzes with activity as hundreds of boats converge in one spot. Each boat sells a single type of product, simply displayed on the lateral bar. You’ll effortlessly find bundles of vegetables, fruits, and other household items. The market also sells animals like turtles, birds, and even lizards for both locals and tourists.

If you get the chance to visit, you should spend the early morning soaking in the atmosphere. Float on the river, enjoy iced coffee, listen to folk songs, and admire the colorful “Áo Bà Ba”, a traditional costume of southern Vietnam. You’ll find yourself mingling with a variety of cheerful people, always smiling and haggling.

Some Travel Tips for a Nice Floating Market Trip

For a great experience, you should take note of the following tips:

  • Western Vietnam has quite high temperatures, so you should Wear light, airy clothes that are easy to move in.
  • Bring a hat, sunscreen, or umbrella for sun protection.
  • Choose shoes with straps or flat shoes for better mobility.
  • When boarding a boat, always request a life jacket to ensure safety.
  • If you’re prone to seasickness, bring medicine to avoid discomfort on boats or rafts.
  • Always inquire about prices beforehand, particularly at food stalls.
  • It’s fine to negotiate the price from the initial offer, but avoid pushing too hard or you can offend the seller.


What Is the Great Time of Day to Go Boating on a Floating Market?

To truly savor this enchanting experience, set your alarm for early morning and arrive at the market at dawn. This is when the floating market comes alive with activity, as sellers on boats prepare to showcase their goods. Let the sunrise, the lively energy of the vendors, and the melodic sounds of the market transport you to a world that is both magical and authentic.

Should I Bargain at the Floating Market?

Certainly! Bargaining is  a delightful experience and a customary tradition that thrives at the vibrant floating markets in Vietnam. Just engage with each vendor courteously and with a friendly smile since a positive demeanor can help too much.


If you are bored at a traditional market in the city, floating markets in Vietnam will let you experience something new in your life. Come visit Vietnam’s floating market, and you will find another aspect of Vietnamese culture.